On a second warning from the flight attendant, Persing snapped back threatening the flight attendant with "serious consequences" if he did not leave them alone.
The comment was enough to have the couple, both in their early 40s, arrested when the plane reached its destination in Raleigh, North Carolina, and charged with obstructing a flight attendant and with criminal association.
They have been placed under legal surveillance until their trial on February 5. If found guilty, they both could be sent to jail for up to 20 years.
Persing's lawyer William Peregoy said his client was not feeling well when he placed his head on his companion's lap, and that he only threatened the flight attendant with reporting him to his superiors on landing.